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JUNE 2009

Staying Current to Maximize Connections

CLICK is the latest in a series of popular e-newsletters from VisionMonday. Every month, CLICK will provide ECPs and optical retailers with tools they need to build their presence online and grow connections with patients. It’s a monthly briefing designed specifically to provide practical insights and ideas about the latest Web site features, tools and Web-based applications.

CLICK will feature a variety of topics including innovative ideas in Web site design, profiles of ECP sites, examples of cutting-edge initiatives. We hope you use it to discover current web technologies and learn how online initiatives can help benefit your business.—The Editors

in focus

New Patient Communication Tools for ECPs’ Sites

LEHI, Utah—A full suite of e-services for professionals is now targeting the vision care market. Smile Reminder provides practices with messaging solutions that improve office efficiency, enhance the patient experience and increase overall patient loyalty. The company’s patent-pending solutions “use the latest in messaging technology that works for today's mobile society,” according to Carey Van Orden, marketing director. Medical, dental, day spas and other health-related professions are using customized appointment reminders that go to patients’ computers and mobile phones and PDAs. These include “Tell a Friend” and post-exam surveys, e-newsletters, “Smile Dash,” which enables patients to pay bills online, and the new “VSling” technology which enables customers to record video testimonials—at the front desk or via link/webcam at home. With their OK, the VSlings are then posted online and can be sent to friends via Facebook and other social networks—all enhanced by the company’s Google search optimization.

SmileReminder.comKevin Gee, OD, FAAO, from Missouri City, Texas has been using SmileReminder since January. “Smile Reminder has greatly impressed our patients. They enjoy the online confirmations and text messages, especially being able to put their appointments in their smartphones via vcard. Our patients get reminders at 1 week, 2 days and 3 hours prior to their appointments—this is completely customizable. It has really helped our no-show rate. The 3-hour reminder is the best because usually at this point in time is when they have something going on and call to tell us that they can't make it. We then have enough time to contact another patient or move patients up earlier.

“We also utilize the surveys on every patient,” said Gee. “We get great feedback on where we need to improve and also keep up the good work. The same goes for the newsletters—if we have a promotion in the office or if I'm being recognized or we're holding a trunk show, it a great tool to get the word out. Patients talk...and on every correspondence that goes out, there is a link to “refer a friend”. Lastly, we notify our patients of their contact and spectacle arrivals via “Groups” that includes the patients' name and notifies them that they are ready to be delivered or picked up.”

SmileReminder, which partners and is integrated with ECPs’ practice management systems, will be at the AOA Optometry’s Meeting in Washington, D.C. later this month and is planning to continue to increase its use among optometrists’ and ophthalmologists’ practices. features online demos, or more detailed demos and Q&As can be arranged.


Via ABB CONCISE’s Program, ECPs Create Patient Connections for Contact Lens Reorders

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla.—The traditional ECP method of placing an order with a contact lens supplier for two boxes of lenses then waiting for the lenses to arrive before notifying the patient is inconvenient, costly to ECPs and invites patients to seek alternatives. ABB CONCISE’s contact lens reorder web site provides ECPs a response to the industry’s ever growing online competition.

“ECPs now realize that a growing number of their patients value their time and demand convenience,” notes Angel Alvarez, president of ABB CONCISE.

ABB CONCISE’s service provides its accounts with an Internet reorder functionality that is easy to graft onto existing practice web sites in a transparent manner. The service can also be used as a stand-alone Internet reorder site, enabling patients to order. The newest feature on is Auto Ship. This tool helps the ECP take patients out of the market if they have difficulty selling them an annual supply. Auto Ship allows the patients to manage their subscriptions on their own 24/7. “In today's tough economic climate this program allows patients to get their lenses on a regular basis without hurting their pocket. It also forces compliance because it makes the patient more aware of their wearing schedule when the yourlens automatic shipment arrives,” Alvarez notes.

Leah Ramos, OD, and Shane Swatts, OD, of Chesapeake, Va., have been using ABB CONCISE and their newly revised web site,, features the contact lens reordering function provided by ABB CONCISE

Ramos told CLICK, “We have been integrating the ABB ordering function into our site for the past several years. We inform all of our patients who have finished their follow ups with us about our website and the capability of ordering online. Once the patient registers, we verify the prescription information and enter the expiration date into the system. The patient is then free to order throughout the year. We verify each prescription via email before the order is filled by ABB.

“We price some of our lenses lower online due to the decreased need for staff time when the patients order directly. We have had positive feedback from all of our patients who have used the website.”


cool tools

Insights for Online Merchants

This site is loaded with tips, suggestions, practical webinars and articles that are of interest to anyone with a Web site, regardless of its focus. Even beginners can glean useful info from advice on Web site structure and navigation to great site selections that provide dozens of ideas and concepts for professional and retail/e-tail approaches.


The Web Information Company

Alexa is a web information company that offers a slew of stats and information about the most trafficked sites on the Web and reveals trends of which consumers are going where. Sites are organized by category (e.g. Health, Vision) and display traffic, usage and trends in addition to news and blogs.


sites to see has been online since January 2000 and served about eight million visitors in 2008. Online users are primarily prospective consumers and patients seeking out information related to eye health and vision conditions like glaucoma and AMD as well as straight and informative answers to questions about eyeglasses, contact lenses and refractive surgery. The site also has an extensive resource section and an ECP locator for consumers.


Just relaunched this month, Hoya’s completely reeengineered and reeenergized site is designed to help consumers understand new vision and lens technologies and serves as a new platform for the brand. ECPs will refer patients to learn about Innovations, Products and Uses of various lens designs, materials and lifestyle applications. Sharp and dynamic graphics simply illustrate complex topics while enhanced interactive components provide an enriched user experience. “Find a doctor” and new “Share This” icons let consumers and ECPs easily distribute content on the site via email, IM and popular social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Digg.